CORE 87 is steadily gathering fans. Together since the fall, this mainstream rock band's first performance was during the Local Xposure series at the Canal Club. CORE 87 didn't get one of the final two slots but did make it to the finals after only one gig! Since then the group has played Richmond a few more times and has a number of gigs planned and is already working on a CD. www.core87.com
Christian rockers hate to be called "Christian rockers," but whatever you call them, Florez is the kind of band you encounter on a local level that makes you wonder not if they'll break big, but when. Florez is tight and professional, its sound is slick, their members have musical training, and their look is pinup-worthy. Their latest CD, "In Flight," was produced and engineered by Ed Cash at Ed's. Cash also lends some instrumentation playing keyboards. Unofficial members Dan Needham and Josh Robinson play drums and percussion on the record respectively. www.florezmusic.com.
OK, so it happened again. Last August, we heard Carbon Leaf on the radio in Denver, then Baltimore and New Haven, Conn., in the fall. In February it was Philly, and then last month the UT-Knoxville station and UNC-Asheville stations were hitting the Leaf. So why haven't we heard them in their hometown?
Another band of locals doing well for themselves is electro-punk outfit VCR. (Think Franz Ferdinand raised on Fugazi.) The name may be familiar as the band that was playing during an ill-fated party downtown in May 2004, but now music lovers all over the world are getting familiar with VCR's grunge-wave without the drag of being pepper-sprayed. VCR completed a two-week tour of Europe in February, played SXSW in Austin in March and is on a six-week national tour, playing everywhere from Hollywood and San Francisco to Des Moines, Iowa, Bloomington, Ill., New York and D.C. www.scaredofvcr.com.
compiled by Jeff Sadler, Alyssa Holtgrewe and Jay Smack of Studio B.